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Arts / Theater / Dance

Playwright Charles Monette is out to rescue van Gogh’s image from that of a destitute, deranged eccentric to that of an artistic genius who lived parallel lives as a “brilliant writer, a linguist and a minister.” Pictured, “Self-Portrait,” August 1889, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Encores & Curtain Calls: Looking at the ‘crazy redhead’ with new eyes

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” — Vincent van Gogh The re-creation of history by dramatists in pursuit of a deeper glimpse into its larger-than-life protagonists often turns out more to be the re-invention — perhaps even the betrayal — of their allegedly revered heroes. From the now-hallowed ground of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, trampled by endless religious reformers in search of new upgrades to the faith and by intrepid directors in hundreds of religious film epics, to the controversy-ridden life of Martin Luther King in “Selma,” the soon-to-be-released biographical film, little in the graveyard of … 0

Double Take Fringe Festival brings theater downtown

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

“Great theater is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” — Willem Dafoe, actor Downtown Greenfield will be the site of a theatrical moveable feast Friday and Saturday evening during Double Take Fringe Festival’s fourth annual series of plays. “It’s actually the best lineup … 0

Summer Spectacular: Double Edge Theatre celebrates 20 years in Ashfield

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

To commemorate its 20th anniversary in Ashfield, Double Edge Theatre will re-imagine “Shahrazad, A Tale of Love and Magic” during this year’s annual Summer Spectacle. The last of two previews is on Thursday, July 17, and performances run July 18 through Aug. 24. All shows are at 8 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, rain … 0

75 years old & still charming

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Once upon a time in the Midwest, a boy was raised by a stern father who used physical punishment as a discipline. The father frequently took the youngster and his three older brothers to the basement for a … 0

Contra’s British cousin

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The dance hall doors swing open for what you’d expected would be a contradance. But wait: although this looks like a contra, sort of, and even sounds somewhat like one, it’s not. Even at first glance, it’s less … 0

‘So ancient, so satisfying’

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Anyone who’s heard music pouring out of the grange hall on a Friday or Saturday night, in Greenfield or Montague, can probably guess it’s coming from a contra dance or a square dance. But here come completely un-square … 0


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The marketplace in the Sahara Desert was buzzing. Merchants dressed in long, flowing cloaks shouted over one another to attract customers to their stand. A cool breeze carried with it the sound of stringed instruments. Suddenly, commotion. A … 0

‘The Inquiring Line’

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

“We artists are hypersensitive, or we wouldn’t be — couldn’t be — artists.” — R.O. Blechman His art is instantly familiar, deceptively simple and often composed of nervous, squiggly lines depicting frail characters with enormous noses. An author, … 0

Middle Earth comes to Mohawk

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The old movie term “cast of thousands” comes to mind while watching the choreographed battle scenes and musical numbers being performed during rehearsals for Mohawk’s annual all-school play “The Hobbit,” which opens Friday, March 8. But this year’s … 0

‘Delightful & beautiful’: ‘South African play explores art & the trauma of loss

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From the Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Barundi and other parts of South Africa, the refugee children told their “Suitcase Stories,” part of an art therapy research project that helped them come to terms with what they’d experienced while walking … 0

‘Delightful & beautiful’: South African play explores art & the trauma of loss

Monday, January 28, 2013

From the Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Barundi and other parts of South Africa, the refugee children told their “Suitcase Stories,” part of an art therapy research project that helped them come to terms with what they’d experienced while walking … 0

The sound of surprise

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” American composer,  John Cage It is not every composer’s gift to be able to offer us music which is not only truly fresh but genuinely unimaginable — incapable of being conceived beforehand. … 0

‘Rocky Horror’ at The Shea

Friday, October 26, 2012

Strange — isn’t it — the lure, the enduring attraction of horror? Why, there’s even a special holiday dedicated to the “dark side,” the hallowed Halloween – or, in its original incarnation, All-Hallows’ Eve, which was, in traditional … 0